Deep fried chicken relieves stress better than Yoga

Chicken packageWe had lunch at Burger King today. Our son had the Chicken Fries. When he was finished eating he read the packaging out loud. It reads:

Face it. Life can be stressful. But not when you have some lightly battered premium white-meat chicken by your side. Just grip, dip and go. Wasn’t that easy? Take that, yoga class.

Essentially Burger King is saying that to relieve stress you are better off eating deep fat fried chicken that has 53% of it’s 390 calories coming from fat than to do a yoga class. And if the fat and calories were not enough, they provide 41% of your RDA of sodium. They are trying to convince us that getting almost half of your sodium in one meal (that does not count the fries or anything else with your meal) is less stressful, and presumably better for you, than doing a round of exercise that is perfectly designed for stress relief.

Am I the only one that has a problem with this?

I know that fast food joints are not known for their promotion of good health, but to say that you will be more stress free and, implying, healthier by eating the Chicken Fries than exercising seems irresponsible.

Up and Running

I think I have turned the corner on my foot injury. I have been running again for a few weeks. Since the start of the year I have not put in the 20 miles a week that I want but I am pleased to be back on the road.

Yesterday I did a 6.5 mile run. It was a new route for me, but one that will probably become a regular path. I had several of these in Mexico, but I have not fallen into enough of a pattern here to have regular routes. The only one I really have up to this point is a 3 mile route right inside the neighborhood. It requires that I go up and down every dead end street to get the distance in. Pretty boring. I don’t do it often.

The run I did yesterday took me to the water reclamation plant near our house. I have run over there several times, but in the past I ran south from the house to get there. That required that about 3/4 of the run I had to be on major roads. I hated feeling like I was risking my life for the joy of running by myself on the boardwalk over the swamp. But yesterday I found a more direct route to the water plant which kept me on side streets and only had to cross the major road instead of run along it.

I am slowly ramping my way back up to 20 mile weeks. I was starting to feel like I would fall out of the habit of running regularly, but the last couple of weeks has gotten me excited again about being on the road.

I bet you get great satisfaction from your work

I have often had people comment that my job must be very rewarding. I have always agreed outwardly but never really felt it inwardly. At least, not in the way they are thinking.

I know when people make a comment about my work being satisfying they are talking about the social good that I do amongst the Deaf. They are assuming that the purpose and goal of my ministry is to help the perceived needs of the Deaf. In third world countries these needs might include help learning job skills and communication. One thing I have done in Mexico to further my goal was to work in a school for the Deaf. At the school I taught physics and math. I also had some classes on social skills and general manners. Mostly I taught basic forms of English (which I always thought was the craziest thing since they didn’t even know Spanish). But none of that was my ultimate goal. Those were simply a means to an end.

So what is my goal and from what do I draw my satisfaction in my work?

My goal is to see the Deaf accept Christ as their Savior. The reason is they need someone to save them from the wrath of God against their personal sin. The Deaf, like the rest of us, have one dominant problem: sin.

We don’t need a Savior to give us a better life. We don’t need Him to help us have a better job. Nor do we need Christ to solve any problems we might have. These MAY be a result of salvation and living a life based on biblical principles, but they are not the goal.

Sure, I get satisfaction from my work. But my satisfaction does not come when a person learns to read or gets a job. My satisfaction comes when I see a person accept Christ for who He is: a Savior from their sins and punishment in Hell. While God may grant them a better place in society, that is not my job nor my passion.

Book Review: Rex

I have seen the news reports about Rex and his amazing ability with the piano. Getting to read the story about him helps me see his accomplishments as even more miraculous.

The book is about the heartaches and victories that Rex’s mom experienced while trying to raise and train Rex up to this point in his life. He was born with a growth in his brain that caused blindness and autism. At 2 years old he was given a piano keyboard that became the magical door to open his mind to the outside world. He has grown to be a musical savant.

That is the part of the story I already knew. What I did not know about was the struggles that Rex’s mom had to endure to deal with his limitations on a practical level as a single mom. Also about the battles she faced just getting him into school and keeping him there.

As someone who has worked with the Deaf I have seen these same types of conflicts play out in the lives of many parents. There is always the feeling that, as a parent, you might have done something different to change the outcome. Or that you should have done more (or less) along the way to help, protect, guide or encourage your child in their development.

Ms. Lewis is careful to praise good teachers and scold bad ones. Some of the stories she tells in the book remind me of what took place in the early days of special education where the special ed teachers were not properly trained for the individual need, but were just teachers pulled from the standard classrooms to fill a position. However, this is not a story of a boy growing up blind in the 1950s, it is a story of a boy who is currently in the system. Some of these stories happened within the last couple of years.

The writing seemed a little flowery at the front of the book. It took me about 60 pages to “get into” the story. I don’t know if the writing got better or that I was finally drawn into the emotion of what was taking place, but it was certainly easier to read. By the time I hit half way through the book I had trouble putting it down.

This book is published by Thomas Nelson. Thomas Nelson is a Christian publishing house. I expect that their books would have a clear religious bent. I finished the book wondering whether Rex’s mom really has a relationship with Christ, or just found psychological comfort in going to church.

It is a good book if you are looking for an emotional story. I feel like I know Rex in a small way. I am very excited about following him as he grows up.

Rex, Thomas Nelson, 2008, 242 pages.

Back to Georgia

I am not sure that being home is very exciting. I have been home quite a bit the last few weeks and I have not posted a whole lot. However, when we are on the road I seem to be too busy to get to the computer much.

We hit the road last Wednesday for our first trip since just before Christmas. We headed up to the Atlanta area for some meetings. On Wednesday we were in a church that is pastored by a college friend. It was great to be there with him. Since we graduated from college we have not been together. It was fun catching up a bit, but mostly talking about our respective ministries.

This weekend we were in a mission conference in a church that we had not been in before. But we do have previous contact with the associate pastor. He is a man who supported us when he was in another church. He also is someone who is very tuned in to missions. He put together a great conference and the church people executed the plan well. We had a great time getting to know the church.

I got to run a bit this week. I have not been consistent in my running since I started back. It may be a good thing though. I have run between 8 and 12 miles a week for the last 5 weeks. It is about 10 miles a week less than what I want, but I think that is helping me ease back into it without injury. I did 5 miles in the rain yesterday. Fortunately it was in the 50s. Today was 4 miles at 34 degrees and no rain.

I did a bunch of geocaching yesterday afternoon while the family was taking a nap. Most of the places I hit were out on nature trails in Carrollton, GA.